PIOGA Energy Education Program

Informing the next generation about America’s energy choices

Like many issues today, energy is often reduced to stereotypes, slogans and shouting by advocates and opponents of the various forms of energy we use to make modern life possible – crude oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, biomass and others. In this time of energy transition, however, it is essential that citizens be energy literate so that they can make informed choices about everything from choosing how to heat their home to potential career paths.

Recognizing this need, we developed the PIOGA Energy Education Program, or PEEP, to provide an overview of age-appropriate energy education by introducing several highly interactive activities that can be adapted within various classroom scenarios. It is a “teach-the-teachers” program for educators in grades 5 through 8. The objectives are for participants to be able to:

  • Explain the differences between renewable and nonrenewable energy sources.
  • Describe the impact of the production and use of crude oil and natural gas in Pennsylvania.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of uses of at least three energy sources.
  • List several professions in the energy field.
  • Strategize and explain how the lessons can be incorporated into the attendee’s typical classroom schedule regardless of grade or subject and correlated to PA Common Core and state standards.

Our program can be adapted to any discipline in the school. Many people think of it as a “science” class, but our materials were designed to be used by math, economics, social studies, language arts and science teachers.

The program is taught as a one-day professional development workshop. It is offered at no cost to the teacher and includes six Act 48 credit hours and instructional materials. Teachers must be willing to share this information with their students within several weeks of the workshop. The program asks each teacher and student to complete surveys prior to and following the lessons so that data can be collected on the value of the program.

PEEP was rolled out in late 2013 and since then 169 educators have gone through the program. Attendees included elementary teachers; middle school science, math and technology teachers; and high school science and economics teachers. An educator on average will reach 90 students a year. Based on those numbers PEEP helped generate over 15,210 energy-aware citizens since the inception of the program.

If you are interested in finding out more about the program or scheduling a training session, please contact Dan Weaver at dan@pioga.org or 724-933-7306 ext. 30.

Energy Facts

  • Only 10% of energy in a light bulb is used to create light. Ninety percent of a light bulb’s energy creates heat.
  • Enough sunlight reaches the earth’s surface each minute to satisfy the world’s energy demands for an entire year.
  • Over 86% of the energy used in the U.S. each year is from the combustion of fossil fuels.
  • Thomas Edison built the first power plant, and in 1882 his Pearl Street Power Station sent electricity to 85 buildings. People were initially afraid of electricity and parents would not let their children near the lights.
  • Hydropower is the main renewable energy source the U.S. relies on—more than wind, solar, or geothermal power.